How to Get a Copy of Past W2s for Free

by Tiffany Raiford ; Updated July 27, 2017
The Internal Revenue Service offers taxpayers copies of certain forms for free.

Form W2 is the wage and tax statement issued to employees at the end of each tax year. The form states your wages, including tips and salaries, federal income tax withholding, social security, Medicare wages, withholding and other information required to file your income tax return. The Internal Revenue Service provides blank copies of W2 forms free of charge to anyone who requests a form, even forms from prior tax years. The IRS also keeps copies of your filed W2 forms for 10 years. If you need a blank W2 form or a copy of one of your personal W2 forms, request a copy from the IRS.

Blank W-2 Forms

Step 1

Log on to the IRS website to obtain blank copies of W2 forms from previous tax years. Click on the link titled “Forms and Publications” on the homepage of the IRS’ website, which directs you to a list of available tax forms.

Step 2

Click on the selection titled “Previous Years.” In the provided search box input “W-2”, which brings up a list of all W-2 forms available for download, choose the year or years you want to download and print them on your computer, free of charge.

Step 3

Call the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-3676 to request blank copies of form W-2. Provide the IRS with the tax year and number of copies you need; your mailing address, name and contact information. The IRS will mail copies to you.

Previously Filed W-2 Forms

Step 1

Obtain and complete form 4506-T from the IRS. Form 4506-T is a request for a copy of a transcript of a prior year income tax return. Transcripts include your W-2 information for the tax year that you request, but do not include a copy of your actual W-2. The IRS does not provide free copies of your past W-2 forms – the IRS charges $57 per copy of your W-2. Depending upon your reasons for needing a copy of a prior year W-2, a transcript with your W-2 information is acceptable in lieu of a W-2. Find out from the person or company in need of your prior year W-2 if this is true in your case.

Step 2

Enter your name, social security number and mailing address on form 4506-T – include the same information of your spouse if the return being requested was a joint return. Indicate the tax year or years you are requesting and sign form 4506-T.

Step 3

Mail form 4506-T to the IRS. Find the correct mailing address by locating the state of residence on page two of form 4506-T and using the corresponding address. The IRS mails your transcripts to the address you provide once your request is received and approved.

Step 4

Ask your employer for a copy of your W-2 form from a previous year. If your employer keeps these records they might provide one to you free of charge.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

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